Louis CK, the comedian tasked with hosting Saturday Night Live in the wake of the Hurricane Sandy disaster, has written a letter to his fans describing the challenge and what it felt like to be in New York City after the storm. His letter expresses his emotional response to the disaster and how it affected the filming of SNL. (See full letter below.)
He wrote the letter just hours before the show was preparing to air. He wrote it from his dressing room on the SNL set. He describes the challenges of filming the show in Manhattan during a week when there was no power, the streets were teeming with water, and people were going through an inordinate amount of suffering.
Louis CK wrote about how he felt a duty to make the show better than ever in light of the plight of New York City. He also expressed gratitude for everyone from the SNL crew who worked with him during such a trying week.
Read the email in full below.
“Tonight I’m hosting Saturday Night Live, something I zero ever in my life saw happening to me. And yet here it is completely most probably happening (I mean, ANYTHING could NOT happen. So we’ll see).
“I’ve been working here all week with the cast, crew, producers and writers of SNL, and with Lorne Michaels. Such a great and talented group of people.
“And here we are in the middle of New York City, which was just slammed by a hurricane, leaving behind so much trouble, so much difficulty and trauma, which everyone here is still dealing with every day.
“Last night we shot some pre-tape segments in greenwich Village, which was pitch black dark for blocks and blocks, as it has been for a week now.
“Its pretty impossible to describe walking through these city streets in total darkness. It can’t even be called a trip through time, because as long as new york has lived, its been lit. By electricity, gas lamps, candlelight, kerosene. But this was pitch black, street after street, corner round corner. And for me, the village being the very place that made me into a comedian and a man, to walk through the heart of it and feel like, in a way, it was dead. I can’t tell you how that felt. And you also had a palpable sense that inside each dark window was a family or a student or an artist or an old woman living alone, just being int he dark and waiting for the day to come back. Like we were all having one big sleep over, but not so much fun as that.
“This is how a lot of the city is still. I know people in queens, brooklyn, Staten Island, new jersey, all over, are not normal yet. And not normal is hard.
“And here at 30 rock, these folks are working so hard this week. There are kids in the studio every day, because members of the crew and staff had to bring them to work. Many people are sharing lodging. Everyone is tired. But there’s this feeling here that we’ve got to put on a great show. I’m sure it feels like that here every week. But wow. I feel really lucky to be sharing this time with these particular good folks here at SNL.
“In about 5 hours we’ll be going on the air. I’ll do a monologue. And we’ll show you some sketches that we wrote and try to make you laugh. I’m gonna look really dumb in some of this stuff. But I don’t care. Its awfully worth it. And I’m really excited.
“Anyway. I just wanted to let you know. If you watch the show tonight, when Don Pardo says my name and you see me walking out, all the shit in this email is what ill be thinking. I’m a pretty lucky guy. I hope you enjoy the show.”
Live. From new york. Its saturday night.